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Secrets of Podgora

How the sea and Biokovo formed the most beautiful beaches

Gravitational processes on the steep slope of Biokovo, with strong intermittent streams, influenced the fast transportation of the material and its deposition at the foot. Waves and sea currents destroyed the deposits, rounded their fragments, transmitted and deposited them on the shore. Thus, in cooperation with the mountain and the sea, were created the unique pebble beaches that the Makarska littoral is nowadays well-known for.

“Passage of Happiness” (Prolaz sriće)

There was once a recognisable symbol of Podgora at Sutikla - a rocky arch, covered with earth and trees, that the locals called the "Passage of Happiness”. In the earthquake of 1962, the passage was demolished, but you can still walk the same happy road today. It will surely put a smile on your face.

Legend of Tekla

Legend says that the first grave on the Cape of St. Tekla belonged to a girl called Tekla, who died on a sailboat. Her grieving father refused to throw his only daughter into the sea, according to an old sailor tradition. Sailing in the vicinity of Podgora, he found a spot where he buried his daughter - Punta of St. Tekla. It reminded him of a ship, and its cypresses resembled a mast.

Copper coins and good fortune

By the mid-20th century, there was a custom to bury a few copper coins under the threshold when building a house. It was believed that the house being built in such a manner would be long-lasting, and the homestead will live happily in it. Thanks to this, many Venetian soldi and gazetas - copper coins with the inscription DALMA ET ALBA (17th and 18th century), have been preserved.


The quality of the drywall - the stone walls that descend from the Biokovo peninsula towards the sea - is proven by the fact that they were preserved during one of the strongest earthquakes recorded in Croatia, the great earthquake in 1962. Drywalls enclosed manually processed groves of olives, grapes, almonds, walnuts, lemons, oranges, tangerines, carob and figs. In order to increase the use of the steep karstic terrain even more, the hunters had left holes to grow vines.

Water springs

Podgora has been inhabited from the earliest historical periods, thanks to the wealth of its waters. The exact number of springs and streams in the area of Podgora is unknown, but it is known that in the first half of the 20th century, they operated 24 mills. Many well-preserved and well-groomed sources are fractured now, most likely due to the earthquake.

Folk costumes from Podgora

Every woman in Podgora had one garment for everyday use and another for festivities. Despite the poverty, the women of Podgora had precious jewellery made of gold and coral, which was one of the ways of saving during tough times, wars or natural disasters, because the jewellery was easily and quickly transported if needed. The costume itself was layered, so it could be adapted for various occasions and ages. Both men and women wore leather shoes called “opanci”, one type for colder and windy weather and another for the summer months.

Biokovo fairies

Legend says that in ancient times, people have respected nature and lived in harmony with it and its laws, offering food sacrifices to the gods of nature in order to make their crops have better yields. It is believed that fairies helped them in the fields, fed the cattle and chased away evil spirits with their bell-laughs and songs. However, the wild nature of man failed the fairies, the shepherds got rid of their pipes, the song stopped, rifles fired, and people fought amongst themselves. That's why the fairies retreated and became stories and legends.

Some believe that the fairies are still hidden in the mountain ranges of Biokovo, Velebit, Mosor, Brist and the hills of Omiš. They wander the mountains and sing songs to enthral people. Even today, the fairies guard nature, but less and less so, because people do not believe in them and are increasingly urbanising the natural spaces, forests, meadows and mountains. However, since Biokovo has been a protected natural park since 1981, some believe that the fairies can be seen there, especially during a quiet summer sunset, when the sun throws purple rays on the sea.

Podgora shepherds

Stockbreeding was one of the most important activities of the economy in Podgorica until the 1970s.

Podgora shepherds would spend ten months a year with their cattle on the rare Biokovo pastures, because livestock was important for survival, providing wool for clothes, and milk, butter and cheese for food. Today, in the area of Podglogovik on Biokovo, you can still see the objects of traditional architecture from that period when the shepherd population had their temporary habitats used during the grazing seasons. Along the stone houses, there are also terraces that descend towards the sea and border the olive, wine, lemon, orange, tangerine, almond, walnut, fig and carob groves.

St. Vicenco

St. Vicenco is the patron saint of Podgora. The details of his life are unknown, except that he was a Roman soldier who would rather have died than betrayed his conscience, character, and fidelity to Jesus. The story begins in 1790 when Pope Pius VI presented the bones of St. Vicenco to the Makarska canon, Ivan Josip Pavlović. After his death, his brother, Don Grgur Pavlović, donated the bones to his colleague, Don Lovro Pavlinović in Podgora, to the Church of All Saints. This happened in 1831 and since then, it has been the last resting place of St. Vicenco.

The townspeople of Podgora soon accepted the saint as their patron saint and began to hold religious festivities on the day of the saint, every first Sunday after Assumption Day. Soon the pilgrims from Primorje, Zabikovska zagora and Herzegovina started to arrive, and the festivity grew larger and larger. Since 1900, the bishop Nakić has decided that, in the future, the celebration of St. Vicenco will last for three days, and the custom has been preserved to this day. Today, the Church of All Saints, both culturally and historically, is the most valuable church in Podgora, and is one of the most monumental late baroque churches in Dalmatia.
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